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Preminger, Otto


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#21 hal0000

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:41 AM

Two Preminger pictures heavier and I wasn't even planning on it. Laura may become one of my favorite noirs.
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Spoilers galore.
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Preminger plays a trick on us when Laura turns up at her apartment and boy how I fell for it. It's the camera move that makes us think Mcpherson's fallen asleep and that he's merely dreaming Laura's alive. It's the sort of thing that makes me go: dang, too bad it's a dream because the movie makes Laura so damned likable. It's a testament to the subjectivity of movies that the audience can become so infatuated with Laura, just as the characters in the movie are. I guess we could call her a femme fatale, but not the same type as Kathie Moffat or Phyllis Dietrichson; they were sexy, seductive women but we knew they were badówe just didn't care too much. Here, I'm not so sure. Laura seems to broaden my conception of the femme fatale archetype. Men are still throwing themselves at her and doing foolish things for her sake, it's just that she isn't a rotten apple. Whatever. Bravo Gene Tierney, bravo.

#22 Izo

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 01:33 PM

I finally watched Laura last night (that DVD is a hell of a bargain, by the way), and I absolutely adored it from start to finish. The performances were all spectacular with Dana Andrew's being my personal favorite despite the fact that it's the least flashy. He's such a fascinating leading man because he is completely stoic in every role he plays, rarely showing the faintest signs of emotion. The long scene of him in Laura's apartment alone, ending with her picture looking over his shoulder, is nothing short of great. Preminger's camera movements throughout the film were really exceptional, and his hesitation to use too many cuts is something I always enjoy.

This movie ranks up there with Out of the Past as far as great noir goes.

#23 Duke Togo

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 04:24 PM

Yes it was a great film, and this film made me a fan of Dana Andrews for life. He is so cold and in control in this, and while I haven't seen a performance from him yet that matches this I will continue to be on the lookout for more of his films. A true noir hard-ass, and I think he approached the alpha levels of Sterling Hayden, Robert Mitchum, or Robert Ryan in this great film.

#24 Izo

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 04:46 PM

At the risk of beating a dead horse (sorry Lawrence!), I can't help but recommend Andrews films with Jacques Tourneur. I haven't seen The Fearmakers, but he also made Night of the Demon and Canyon Passage with him, and Tourneur was apparently one of Andrews' favorite directors to work with (he only agreed to make The Fearmakers if Tourneur directed). He's so passive a leading man that I can't believe he ever got any roles at all.

Really, though, I loved every performance in the film. Vincent Price's (gay?) ladies man really steals every scene he's in. The dialogue is all absolutely wonderful too. The entire film works on its own internal logic, and it's really bizarre. Andrews finds the murder weapon, and then puts it back in its hiding place, deciding that he'll "pick it up in the morning". That's good detective work!

#25 clydefro

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 01:54 AM

Look for some Paramount-made Preminger coming soon to DVD via Olive Films Opus. Amazon has May 17th for Hurry Sundown and Such Good Friends and July 19 for the infamous and awful Skidoo.

For anyone keeping score at home, that will mean that, between the US and UK, only Centennial Summer, Forever Amber (available in Spain), The 13th Letter, Porgy and Bess, Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, and The Human Factor (available, I think, in France) will be unreleased of Preminger's post-Laura work. (Plus That Lady in Ermine, which became a collaboration with Lubitsch who died before completing the movie.) I suppose that's still quite a few but the upcoming three from Olive remains a decent-sized dent.

#26 clydefro

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:02 PM

Laura's on Blu-ray now, for those interested. I watched it and wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Special features are carried over from the DVD.

This was my third viewing at least, with none of the plot registering any surprises by this point, and I was still enthralled. Particularly fascinating to me is how Andrews plays his character. It's easy to remember the notion that he falls for the supposed victim of the murder he's investigating but what sometimes can get overlooked is the way it all occurs. There's no big "aha" moment or anything so forced. It all occurs gradually, with the viewer sort of figuring it out for himself. Even then it still has to grow more and more clear that he's become too attached to Laura (or the idea of Laura or the painting or whatever). But never does Preminger build undeserved drama out of it. It seems to exist largely in the subtext of what's happening.




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